If nature finds the best way, then move in a spiral pattern to get there the quickest, from the UCLA Newsroom:
The team developed a lensless computational imaging platform that accurately tracked more than 24,000 individual sperm cells in a large volume. This involved observing the individual rotations of each sperm cell, including helical movement patterns, rotation speed, and linear and curved distances traveled.
90% of them move in a right-handed spiral – damn I’m left-handed – and they move fast for microscopic entities, 20-100 micrometers/second.
That’s a big difference in speed…one sperm cell could be 5x faster than his brother.
Facebook has finally answered the question that’s been bugging Wall Street and the rest of us, “when are you going to get mobile?”
Yesterday, the answer came as Facebook launched major upgrades to their iPhone and iPad apps. From the N.Y. Times Bits blog:
Those who have suffered from the sluggishness of the current apps can breathe a collective sigh of relief: these new versions are much faster.
The apps look nearly identical to their predecessors. The main difference is that most of their old Web-based code has been replaced with the native programming code used for iOS
Even more, Facebook has gone all Google Plus on the issue (you know Google making social everyone’s responsibility):
In recent interviews, Facebook executives said they have retooled the organization so that every product team is working on mobile, and the company holds weekly training courses on programming for Apple and Android devices.
The Verge is reporting that these updates make the apps twice as fast:
In building a native Facebook app for iOS, the company looked at improving three key places, “the app’s largest pain points” all relating to speed: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and tapping photos inside the News Feed. “We’re twice as fast in all these areas,” Mick Johnson says.
I’ve been playing with the app and the claims appear to be true. This is good news for Facebook fans (and stock holders) because slow apps can be killer for growth.
**Sorry for the “native” joke, but I couldn’t resist
Chip Yates does not like sitting still. Just a day after piloting his electric-powered Long EZ airplane to over 200 miles per hour – making him the fastest electric-airplane pilot in the world – he had to disassemble the airplane, pack it up and drive 2,000 miles east to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Here at Airventure, Yates continues to be busy answering questions about his record-setting run. And perhaps one of the more surprising answers is that Yates is a not a veteran test pilot. He just got his license in June and has about 58 hours of experience, including the record-setting run last week.
When the electric vehicle pioneer bought the used airplane it had a 118 horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine that is fairly standard for a Long EZ. Over the course of several months Yates and his team pulled the four-cylinder engine out of the Long EZ. They then pulled the 193 kW (258 hp), liquid cooled electric motor out of his record setting battery powered motorcycle and mounted it to the back of the Long EZ.
With the very well used (Yates calls it “abused”) lithium polymer battery back from the motorcycle in the back seat, the Long EZ was being prepared as a test bed for some of the technologies Yates needs to develop for his transatlantic flight. But after setting speed records for an electric motorcycle, first up for the Long EZ was a speed run.
A new BMW prototype is looking to split the difference between speed and range in electric scooters. BMW’s C Evolution, which the company recently presented as a “near-production prototype” in London, is a stylish but pretty ordinary-looking scooter that charges through sockets or a dedicated station.
Its three-hour charge time gives users up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range, BMW says, and it can reach speeds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).
“BMW has read the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. Electromobility has a key role to play in this new segment.”
On Aug. 5 or Aug. 6, depending on which part of the country you’re in, the Curiosity spacecraft careening toward Mars will hit the Red Planet’s atmosphere, deploy a supersonic parachute and either land safely on the planet’s surface or perish. It’s dramatic stuff, and NASA has produced this Hollywood-style YouTube video, complete with animation and suspenseful music, to preview the landing, evoke that drama and put viewers on the edge of their seats.
As engineers explain, it will take seven minutes for Curiosity to travel from the edge of Mars’ atmosphere to the surface, going from a speed of 13,000 mph to zero. “If any one thing doesn’t work just right, it’s game over,” engineer Tom Rivellini says.
Because Mars is so far away, it actually takes 14 minutes for the spacecraft’s signal to reach Earth. So by the time we learn the spacecraft has hit the top of Mars’ atmosphere, Curiosity will have either have survived the landing or perished for a full seven minutes.
Today may very well live in infamy as the day the cable companies died. Internet giant Google announced its new, groundbreaking Google Fiber, a broadband service that will bring breakneck 1Gbps internet speed to Kansas City — service far faster and far cheaper than that offered by traditional cable companies.
How fast is Google’s 1Gbps service? Competitor Comcast recently announced it would launch 305Mbps speed service to much of the Northeast at a cost of $299.95 per month…at 1,000 Mbps, Google Fiber cost of just $70 per month.
Google Fiber allows you to combine your cable TV and internet service into one product, for just $120 per month. Getting service to your house will require you pay a $300 service initiation fee — a fee that’s waved if you agree to keep Google Fiber service for a minimum of two years.
And the remote control for your Google Fiber TV service? It’s a Nexus 7 tablet.
If you’re looking for a lower priced internet option, Google Fiber has you covered there, too. Anyone who pays the $300 connection fee can opt to receive 5Mbps service for free for seven years. That’s an unheard of bargain — you can essentially buy seven years’ worth of internet service for just $3.57 a month.
This video shows a demonstration of the “Cheetah” robot galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989.
The robot’s movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does.
The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year.
I can’t explain why but watching this video makes me very scared. I think someone needs to make a horror movie with speedy robot cheetahs to haunt my nightmares.
This description of the robotics program doesn’t help any:
Robots hold great promise for amplifying human effectiveness in Defense operations. Compared to human beings and animals, however, the mobility and manipulation capability of present day robots is poor. In addition, design and manufacturing of current robotic systems are time consuming, and fabrication costs remain high. If these limitations were overcome, robots could assist in the execution of military operations far more effectively across a far greater range of missions.